A society full of rules, but when it comes to love, there is no written rule
Charlotte Wilcox, an unfortunate baronet’s daughter, has been living with her father in a small village since her mother died when she was still a kid. Although she is happy at home and the fact of remaining single at 23 is not a worry for her, her relatives put pressure on her to find a husband who provides for her.
With that purpose, she travels to Bath, where her aunt Margaret is responsible for educating her so that she can get a proper marriage proposal.
Charlotte thinks that the strict norms that govern aristocratic members of society are ridiculous and old-fashioned. Thus, she is afraid that she will never become the perfect wife that her aunt expects and that every gentleman wishes.
At the first ball she goes to, she meets Edward Holne, viscount of Eversley, and all the rules that her aunt had taught her will be useless before the attraction between them.
Bath, Somersetshire, March 1831
“…The perfect wife has always in mind that the husband’s happiness is her greatest concern even if she has to give up to her own happiness. This success is enough to bring her absolute bliss.
She neither asks the husband any explanation about his words or actions nor complains if he arrives home late. She keeps in mind that he is the master of both her and the house.
She always lets her husband speak in the first place and she listens to him carefully since any topic he brings up is more important than the ones she could ever think of. When he lets her talk, she does so in a humble and plain tone without expanding on typical women trivialities that end up boring and exasperating the husband.
She does not overwhelm him with domestic problems or with her interests and hobbies, which are insignificant compared to those of men…”
Charlotte closed the book and let out an inelegant snort out of exasperation. The more she read, the more she thought its content was ridiculous. How was it possible that aunt Margaret stood up for such nonsense?
She had lent her the guide and told her to read it thoroughly absorbing all its instructions dealing with the main rules of behaviour that should govern her future life of married woman. However, she didn’t think she could carry them out; she even doubted that some rules were actually right. Her father had raised her to think and act with complete freedom as long as it didn’t harm her fellows. He had also taught her to make a source of satisfaction out of her knowledge, to be proud of her intelligence and her enthusiasm to learn and reason, and she wasn't ready to sacrifice everything in or- der to find a husband. She preferred being single rather than becoming a brainless puppet in the hands of a man that was going to decide what she had to say or do. This was such a humiliating idea that she was unable to accept it.
She was very fond of her aunt and she appreciated her efforts to marry her to someone, but she agreed that this attitude was neither proper of an impeccable spouse-as she claimed-nor the guarantee of the marriage stability.
Ever since she arrived in Bath two weeks before, her aunt never stopped trying to polish her unruly personality and rustic manners. That was something she was always re- minding her. She also trained her for social practice in or- der to come across successfully during the social season that had just started. Everything was designed to get a proposal, which was the main reason for her being there. Charlotte imagined that her aunt was making much more effort than she originally thought in order to transform her into a fair lady. Even tough, she knew that her pride was preventing her from admitting it and, of course, from giving up.
With a resigned but light-hearted sigh, she closed her eyes and fell into a snooze induced by the calmness the delicious lunch had made her feel. That was another one of the rules she denied to follow: the austerity in the diet as the guide indicated which her aunt resolved to defend so that it forced her to usually sneak in the kitchen and have an extra food supply to help her get by such sort of penance. Margaret insisted that a polished lady had to be very sparing with meals and this fact tormented her. Yes, greediness was a sin, but even having a bite to eat was too much, so she had decided, together with the cook’s complicity, to provide herself with all she needed in order not to starve to death while she was at that house.
She also disagreed with waking up at dawn to ride a horse around the park. According to her aunt, it was an elegant and useful habit considering that at that time many single gentlemen devoted their time to such a healthy hobby. And, even if no one had ever talked to her, maybe due to the fact of passing her very quickly, Margaret didn’t lose heart and insisted on it every day. Anyway, one nonsense after another she wasn’t easily bearing.
“Have you gone completely mad, child?”
Meet the Author
Since she was a little girl she has been passionate for literature. She lapped up everything she could get her hands on and very soon she began to create in her mind her own stories, tales, short stories and drafts of ambitious young novels.
Her studies, her work and her family were the reasons why she put on hold those literary dreams for several years, although she kept on embodying on paper some ideas that she wished her own novels would talk about. Fifteen years ago she resumed her old dream and she started to write regularly. She sent her stories to some competitions, where she won a few prizes, and also to different publishing houses.
In 2008 she saw how her dream came true with the publication of her first novel. Other novels followed that first one, such as El escolta in 2010, Buscando a la esposa perfecta, in 2012, El escolta (new version) in 2014 and some others. Thanks to all these novels, she has been very lucky to see how her readers have warmly welcomed them and this fact has made her very proud.
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